How to make money as an actor

Hello everybody, Janet Urban here, founder of Friends in film and today’s question is “How do I make money acting? I just wanna make money doing what I love, how to heck can I make this happen and fast?”

Okay, great question.

I mean, I can relate – you’ve got people waiting on you to make your career happen! They’re like, “hey we’ll give you another year but then you better get over your crazy idea of becoming a famous actor” because actors make no money and these people that are telling you this!

They’ve never been in the business, never knew anybody in the business, and I understand, they’re trying to protect you. I do, I understand, my parents said the same thing.

“What? You want to work for National Geographic? That just seems kinda crazy, Janet!”

Believe me, I’ve heard that my friends are like “Really?! I didn’t even think that you even liked lions or tigers or anything”.

I just wanna have an exciting life and I just wanna make money as I have this exciting life and that really was the case. It’s not like I was really into lions and tigers but I knew that I wanted to have this exciting life.

Anyway, enough about me! But it does has something to do with it because the fact is that when you pick a passion and you learn how to actually really get inside there and you’re doing it, you’re surrounded by it, you’re gonna find the path and you’re gonna build skills and the skills, they always mean money, okay?

So I think that the fastest way to make money in this business is to go into the business and just help out until you’re so good, so useful, that people will want to pay you money.

Now this tip is so valuable because many people are like “Ahh I never thought that I could do that” or “I thought I had to go to film school, I don’t have any experience”.

Well, lucky for you [and me too], I didn’t go to school.

It’s more about your attitude. It’s more about you. It’s more about your own confidence and you are only wanting to do it. That makes people say “Ahh, sure come on, I’d love to work with you, I’d love to have you on set”.

So, its not that hard which is great, right? And I am so thankful because now I get to work in the film industry and many many many people gave me that opportunity years ago.

Many people will give you that opportunity as well and the reason why I know this is because I teach this every single week.

I guide people into the industry and have them look like superstars so that people want to hire them. They want them around.

So anyway; if you want to make money acting… get in the business, get on the inside, and start making money. Just in production – behind the scenes. Start making money, then learn some skills and learn how to produce, learn how to write, meet people that might shot your next spec film with you, right?

I mean professionals, not students that they are learning, they don’t really know what they’re doing but you want to have people like that are already professionals work on your stuff so when you’re inside then you’ll meet those people and they’ll become your friends.

So when you’re working in the business you’re making two hundred dollars a day and that’s just standard. That’s what’s normal even in Dallas, that’s what’s normal even in Atlanta, even in Chicago.

Two hundred dollars a day. Unlimited flat. Usually there’s not overtime, but sometimes there is over time but you can count on two hundred dollars a day and that’s a lot of money!

That’s good money, right? Then you work on shots every week and you take that money and you save it, you invest it into your own acting lessons, into your own headshots, into your own wardrobe, you invest it back into yourself, into your acting career.

Guess what happens when you are now skilled in production?

You have these connections with producers and directors cause you work with them all the time, you have money in your pocket, and you know how to approach the acting business now.

This is what happens because you’ve been around a ton of working actors. You’ve seen a ton of headshots, you’ve been involved in the castings, you know what productions are looking for.

Now you have better connections with even casting, not casting but acting coaches. You may have an acting coach now but once you get involved in the business and you start talking to working actors they’re like “oh well everybody goes to this person” or if you want to do commercials definitely these are the best people, go to this person, or if you want good headshot – this guy’s great.

Now once you’re in the business making money and you’ve got some money to spend and invest back into yourself, now you go to the best people and that’s what you do.

So that’s the way to do it guys! I mean you don’t have to do it that way, but that’s definitely what I would do.

I mean, that’s just smart.

Get to know who all the best people are. Don’t do the stuff when you’re on the outside, do the stuff when you’re on the inside. That’s the code. Do the stuff that actors do when you’re on the inside and then you go much further and much faster because you’re gonna be involved in getting to know the best people and the people that really are the working people.

So that’s it for today and if you want to join the 10 day free training, the career on fire 10 day free training, you should sign up!

Make sure that you come to the next one and if some time down the road you want to do our mentorship program then you can do that too.

That’s where you get inside the business and working get assistant jobs and so much more.

Have a good day and I will talk to you soon.

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